Time spent in the library not only staves off summer’s heat, it promotes the maintenance and development of reading skills. Structured summer reading programs offer students the opportunity to read for pleasure and additional incentives. This year, public libraries around the country are participating in “One World, Many Stories,” a summer reading program through the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a grassroots consortium providing high-quality program materials at a low cost. Gardiner, Highland and New Paltz are all embracing the theme, which encourages readers to explore different peoples, places and cultures via books. Through workshops, contests and reading logs, each library has put its own spin on the global theme with a similar aim in mind: keeping kids reading.
“I think it’s important for children to just read for pleasure and choose their own books. Oftentimes, when they’re in school, they’re assigned books to read, or they’re reading really to hone a skill. Summer is a time to relax, to come to the library, to browse through the books, to find something that’s of interest to them, and to explore the whole world of books,” said Gardiner Children’s Librarian Nicole Lane.
At the Gardiner Public Library, approximately 250 Gardiner Recreation Camp children visit the library twice a week to read and play games from around the world, inspired by the “One World, Many Stories” charge. Whether camper or not, young readers and pre-readers (who read with the assistance of parents or other adults) are invited to start an official summer book log through the library. Participants record their time spent reading and receive a free book, additional prizes, a certificate of completion and entrance in two raffles: for free ice-cream cones at Tantillo’s Farm Market or 30-minute horseback riding lessons.
Supplemental “One World, Many Stories” presentations by local storytellers, artists and educators are free and open to the public.
“I tried to find people who could share some part of their culture with the children through art, music or storytelling. I’m trying to create an opportunity for the kids to do some sort of interactive component,” said Lane.
Upcoming offerings include: Drumming Workshop with Amadou Diallo, sponsored by Gardiner businesses Kiss My Face, The Village Market and Bakery and Cafe Mio on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; and Reading to Dogs: R.E.A.D. Program on Aug. 4 and Aug. 15, 4:45-6 p.m. Participation in the “One World, Many Stories” reading program is not required. Pre-registration is required. To register, call or visit the library. For more information on Gardiner’s summer reading and other programs, visit http://www.gardinerlibrary.org/ or call 255-1255. The Gardiner Public Library is located at 133 Farmer’s Turnpike.
Summer readers can still sign up at the circulation desk or register online (https://ny.evanced.info/highland/sr/homepage.asp) for the “One World, Many Stories” reading program at the Highland Public Library. The program runs until Aug. 22, with three categories of readers: Tiny Travelers Reading Club for preschoolers ages 1-5; Frequent Flyers Reading Club for students ages 5-10; and the “You Are Here” Reading Club for teens and ‘tweens ages 11 and up. At sign up, each reader receives a theme pencil, bookmark and eraser. If participants log four hours of reading in a week, they win a prize.
Highland currently has over 100 participating readers.
“Our readers get prizes for up to 16 hours of reading anything: books, graphic novels, magazines. We don’t like to restrict it, because we’d like them to enjoy what they’re reading. We have four steps, and for each four-hours step they receive a prize. It could be a McDonald’s coupon or even a boomerang for the older kids -- all kinds of cool incentives. Our goal is 16 hours of reading. Of course we encourage more than that, but it’s our guideline,” said Sgro.
At the program’s end, everyone receives a complimentary coupon from Hurd’s Family Farm in Clintondale, and is entered to win an additional mystery prize. There will be one grand-prize winner from each of the three reading groups.
Highland hosts additional programs throughout the summer, including a series of “Create Contests,” which challenge students to use their imaginations and library references to interpret and build various arts and crafts projects. For the week of July 25, the theme is make-your-own piñata. Bring your design to the circulation desk for a chance to win a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card.
The “One World, Many Stories” reading program is also available through the Clintondale Branch of the Highland Library. Now through August, sign up at the circulation desk, record your hours, and reap the same rewards as Highland participants. Clintondale also offers two children’s summer programs: Stamping on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and Crocheting on Thursdays at 5 p.m.
For more information, visit the Highland Public Library website, http://www.highlandlibrary.org/ or call 691-2275. The Highland Public Library is located at 30 Church Street. The Clintondale Branch is located at the intersection of Crescent and Maple Avenues. For hours, call 883-5015.
Summer is the busiest time of year in the Children’s Room at Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz, and it’s little wonder: with workshops, contests and reading nooks, there’s plenty to do. Not least is the “One World, Many Stories” reading program, which already has 114 participants.
“If children read five or six books over the summer, they’re going to maintain the reading level they’re at, or maybe advance further. It’s a good thing to be practicing,” said Children’s Collection Coordinator Bonnie Pfeffer.
New Paltz readers receive their own passport, which is stamped by Pfeffer when reading-time milestones are achieved. Stamps qualify readers for their choice of prize from a box of treasurers, including small stuffed animals, Groucho Marx glasses, nylon frisbees, finger puppets. For every five hours, readers can fill out a raffle ticket for a very special end-of-summer drawing for one of 15-20 different secret prizes on Aug. 15. That day, all participants get to choose a book from the program to keep.
It’s not too late to start summer reading today.
“I wouldn’t mind if everybody came in and signed up. Kids shouldn’t feel that the summer’s half over and they can’t do it. We don’t have an end. The more you read, the more prizes you get, so people can still feel free to join, even as we’re inching toward August. I’m happy to sign you up,” said Pfeffer.
You don’t have to be a member of the reading program to enjoy Elting Memorial Library’s “One World, Many Stories” workshops. Programs supporting the summer theme include: Spanish Around the World in Language & Music with New Paltz resident and retired Spanish language teacher Pattie Steffens on Aug. 8 at 11 a.m. and Aug. 9 at 3 p.m.; and “Long-ago people! Wet kids!” in original song, speech and sign language, with Marji Yablon on Aug. 11 at 4 p.m. There is still room for children ages five and up to take part in a story and craft time this Thursday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. On Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m., anyone can enjoy family movie night. The library is also having two Yu-Gi-Oh nights in the children’s room on Aug. 8 and Aug. 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This activity is for ages 8 to 12. Come in and and duel, trade and learn.
For more information on Elting Memorial Library’s summer reading and other children’s programs, visit http://www.eltinglibrary.org/ or call 255-5030. The library is located at 93 Main Street in New Paltz.